Coach Stacey Jones has shuffled his players around for the match at Sportingbet Stadium against the Panthers this Sunday (4.15pm-AEST).
The Vodafone Junior Warriors currently sit on 7th position on 28 points and have the Panthers (8th), Rabbitohs (9th) and Storm (10th) nipping at their heels all on 28 points with only point differential deciding their place on the table.
If the Vodafone Junior Warriors go down to the Panthers all three of those teams have the opportunity to knock them out of the eight. The Rabbitohs would have to beat the 3rd placed Roosters or the Storm beat the 4th placed Broncos for this to happen. If both the Rabbitohs and Storm lose the Vodafone Junior Warriors would still stay in the eight even with a loss.
Even if the Vodafone Junior Warriors win against the Panthers they can’t move up the table as the West Tigers sit at 6th spot on 33 points.
The last time these two teams met the Vodafone Junior Warriors came out on top with a 30-16 win at Mount Smart Stadium. In 2013 the two teams met in the Holden Cup Grand Final with the Panthers prevailing with a 42-30 win.
Ken Maumalo who ran 148 metres against the Titans last week moves to centre and Ngataua Hukatai shifts out to the wing. Mikaere Beattie is set to start at standoff with Kurt Robinson moving back to his usual position of hooker.
Kouma Samson returns to the side at prop with Toafofoa Sipley shifting to the bench. Nat Roache who started at hooker last week also moves to the bench as utility cover.
Solomone Kata will be a key strike weapon against the Panthers having ran 175m, make two line breaks and score two tries against the Titans last week and show good form during his time in the NSW Cup. Having been named in the 2014 Holden Cup Team of the Year co-captain Sam Lisone will be leading from the front to create some good go-forward for his backs to work their magic.
VODAFONE JUNIOR WARRIORS v PANTHERS
Sportingbet Stadium, Penrith
4.15pm (AEST), Sunday, September 7
1 BRAD ABBEY
2 NGATAUA HUKATAI
3 KEN MAUMALO
4 SOLOMONE KATA
5 METIA LISATI
6 MIKAERE BEATTIE
7 MASON LINO (C)
8 SAM LISONE (C)
9 KURT ROBINSON
10 KOUMA SAMSON
11 MARATA NIUKORE
12 ADAM TUIMAVAVE GERRARD
13 JAZZ TEVAGA
14 OFAHIKI OGDEN
15 TOAFOFOA SIPLEY
16 IULIO AFOA
17 NATHANIEL ROACHE
18 PAUL ULBERG
COACH: STACEY JONES